I need one more club to join like I need a hole in the head. But I just might sign up. I’m not sure what the dues are, but perhaps I can afford it. Some causes are so just and right that the cost is worth it. I’m talking about joining the Apostrophe Protection Society of England. We have groups that work to protect wildlife and endangered species of animals, so why not apostrophes? After all, if we don’t protect them now, we could lose them forever. I can’t fathom life without apostrophes. Can you?
What brought this issue to the forefront was a controversy at the University of Minnesota about the name of a fancy new walkway called the Scholars Walk, as opposed to the Scholar’s Walk. Larry Laukka, who heads the group developing the walkway, argued that an apostrophe would add distinction by suggesting that the walkway was owned by those it honors. But the board that had the decision making power decided not to add the apostrophe. Said a disappointed Laukka, “I’ll have to lick my wounds. But I’ll get over it.” (Notice that he used two apostrophes in his response.) The board ruled against the apostrophe because it would make the university appear exclusive, not inclusive. It also might have led to the adding of apostrophes to other places like Professors Lane. Said board member Margaret Colson, “Apostrophes would be out of control.”
(I’s all for grammatical korrectness. I are a big proponent of it. Is you two? I don’t never like to make no grammatical mistakes. ‘Cause when I makes them, somebodies always learning me how to do it correctly. I guess us Christians oughta care bout such things ’cause it makes a bad impression when we talks like a bunch of hicks. On the other hand, I’s a gessin’ that the good Lord cares more about the heart than he does them darn apostrophes.)
Seriously, I know the rules of grammar, but I never get them all right. For instance, I know that a preposition is not something you should end a sentence “with.” Grammatical rules are good and we need some or else we would all talk like Jed Clampett. They provide guidelines for us and are ultimately for our own good. However, obsession with the rules of grammar or life will do us no good. If I lived in fear of breaking a grammatical rule, then I would never open my mouth. Conversely, obsession with God’s laws will turn us into legalistic Pharisees.
It’s (notice the apostrophe used correctly) more important to have your heart, than your apostrophe, in the right place. “Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight…” (Psalm 19:14).